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Definition Health partners with private hospital, New Victoria, to launch LifeBox digital pre-assessment

From this month, all patients preparing to have surgery at New Victoria Hospital in Kingston Upon Thames, will have a digital pre-assessment which they can do from home.

The private, charity-owned hospital first piloted Definition LifeBox, a digital pre-operative health assessment app, with patients preparing for gender affirmation surgery. Now it is rolling the app out to all its surgical patients.

New Victoria Hospital sees around 3,000 surgical patients a year. Its top four specialisms are orthopaedics, gynaecology, urology and gastroenterology, and it is one of the official partners for NHS England for gender surgery.

The benefits of LifeBox mean patients can complete the pre-assessment questionnaire online, from the comfort of their home, using either their mobile phone, tablet, or computer. They have access to educational videos about their procedures, so they are fully informed and put at ease about their upcoming surgery. Two-way file sharing between the hospital and the patient allows for secure exchange of information such as test results, medication and useful advice.

For the small number of patients that may struggle with technology, there is the support of the hospital’s pre-assessment nurse team, or they can use the app’s Digital Assist function and nominate a family member, carer, or advocate to help them.

However, Marisol Guerrero, New Victoria Hospital’s Pre-assessment Lead, says so far, the 500-plus patients already using the app have embraced the technology.

“The feedback we’ve received is that they are finding it easy to use and even our most senior patients tell us the technology is straightforward,” she says.

The LifeBox app captures detailed medical information making it easier for the New Victoria Hospital medical team to identify a patient’s needs early ahead of surgery. Medical concerns, such as blood pressure or anaemia, can be brought under control in plenty of time before surgery which greatly improves outcomes for patients.

Dr Abdulsatar Ravalia, New Victoria Hospital’s Lead Anaesthetist for Preassessment, says: “The system is easy to access which means I can find all the information I need about a patient in one place. This includes their medical history, past surgical procedures and even the latest blood test results.  It is so much better than having information on lots of pieces of paper.”

The LifeBox app has brought environmental benefits since it was launched. The equivalent of two trees has been saved through the reduction of paper now patient information and paperwork is online. And the hospital’s carbon footprint has reduced by one ton of CO2 as many patients no longer need to travel to New Victoria Hospital for preassessments before their surgery.

Sandeep Chauhan, orthopaedic surgeon and co-founder of Definition Health, says:  “We are delighted to be able to introduce LifeBox and all its benefits to the patients and staff of New Victoria Hospital.  Importantly, it will improve the patient experience even further and lead to even greater improvement in patient outcomes.”